“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” John 13:34 (NRSV)
I quote this a lot in my sermons and my blog writing, but this is the essence of Christ’s ministry and what the Kingdom of Heaven is all about. This New Commandment has been on my mind all week as our Country and its people continue to move towards a Constitutional crisis and worse, a moral crisis.
What confounds me is how we got from our beginning as a nation founded on principles of equality and being one of, by and for the people, to here.
How and why did a man who has no experience or qualification to lead the Executive Branch of our three-pronged government get elected?
Anger and assumption.
The anger of many who felt (and to be honest, knew) their needs and concerns were being ignored.
The assumption of some that their privileges were being stripped away and given to people they felt were unworthy.
And so we have a reality star in the Oval Office, and one who has yet to show the dignity and professional demeanor one would expect from the Leader of the Free World. We witness the actions and read and hear the words of a bully, a so-called real estate mogul, a narcissist who makes everything about him, instead of the American People, and makes himself the victim. A man who made promises that have yet to be delivered upon and probably never will.
A man who uses the people who voted for him to promote himself.
I am scared for this County and for its People, particularly those who voted for the man for whatever reason, be it economic or social reasons. I pray for them that they will have the scales lifted from their eyes, hearts, and minds and realize that the changes in society and technology are the reasons the factories and shops are closing, not the immigrants that come to our country seeking a better way of life. I do as Christ asks me: to love my enemies. I don’t think I have enemies, honestly, but the hate groups come close. So I pray that they have Damascene conversions.
In today’s New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof has written something different and I recommend it for reading:
This past week there were comments from members of the media and the government suggesting that the present incumbent in the White House is unstable. I watched the rally in Phoenix against my better judgment and couldn’t believe what I heard, even though I’d heard it all before. I was left with feelings of anger, bewilderment, and just plain sick.
We have three and a half more years of this unless he gets bored with the job and resigns, proclaiming as he leaves the Rose Garden, that he succeeded because a Washington outsider got elected president and that he would continue to make America great again (with innumerable rallies to feed his need for adulation and continue lying).
Unless he falls off his horse on the way to Damascus and Christ whispers to him, “Donald, Donald, what are you doing to the American People and the World?” we are called to resist and with strength and resolve, live out, proclaim, and spread The New Commandment.